Manchester City eye senior Real Madrid player as replacement for struggling defender yet to convince Guardiola

Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy Atalanta v Real Madrid February 2021 Credit: Alamy
Lucas Vazquez, Ferland Mendy Atalanta v Real Madrid February 2021 Credit: Alamy

Pep Guardiola is in the market for cover at left-back after being unconvinced by Sergio Gomez’s performances, with Real Madrid’s Ferland Mendy reportedly top of the Manchester City manager’s shortlist.  

Gomez joined City from Anderlecht in the summer, but the 22-year-old has still only managed five Premier League appearances so far, suggesting the Spanish boss doesn’t trust him yet.

Mendy could represent a more experienced, high-quality option, should City make a move for him in the upcoming window.

According to Defensa CentralCarlo Ancelotti is open to letting Mendy leave Madrid, despite his impressive performances for the team this season.

However, this is thought to be dependent on whether they can secure the signing of Chelsea and Tottenham target Josko Gvardiol from RB Leipzig, as he would likely take Mendy’s spot in the starting XI.

Since joining Madrid for around £50m in July 2019, Mendy has chalked up 122 appearances for Los Blancos, scoring five goals and contributing 10 assists.

During his time at the club, he has helped to lift two LaLiga titles, two Spanish Super Cups, a UEFA Super Cup and one Champions League, so he would arrive at the Etihad with a winning mentality.

This season, the 27-year-old has featured in 11 of Madrid’s 14 opening matches, contributing one assist so far. Mendy has also averaged 1.1 successful tackles and 0.9 interceptions per match, along with having an impressive pass success rate of 92.5% – something which will suit Guardiola’s fluid system.

However, one stat that won’t please the Frenchman is that his team have failed to keep a clean sheet in any league game he’s played in, which may be a contributing factor as to why Ancelotti is willing to sell him.

Mendy could be the ‘missing link’ for Manchester City

As mentioned, Sergi Gomez’s performances this season have left Guardiola looking for reinforcements in the left-back position and with Madrid potentially willing to sell Mendy, he could be the perfect candidate.

Joao Cancelo has been Guardiola’s preferred option in the position so far, but as a right-footed player, he would likely prefer to play as a right-back, or perhaps even in midfield, as the Portuguese player is known to produce moments of magic out of nowhere and that creativity may be better suited in the middle of the park.

City currently have a five-point gap to close with league leaders Arsenal, which Guardiola will be desperate to achieve as soon as possible.

Out of Newcastle and Arsenal, the other two teams in the top three of the Premier League, City have conceded the most goals, so that will be something the Spanish manager will be looking to tighten up for the rest of the campaign.

You would imagine that if a deal for Mendy gets done, the Frenchman would go straight into the City starting XI.

This would likely mean that Cancelo would go to right-back, which may leave Kyle Walker sitting on the bench. Alternatively, the Portugal international could move into the middle of the park alongside Rodri, but this could mean a change in formation for Guardiola.

With Manchester City looming, it looks like Mendy could be leaving the Bernabeu. Whether this is in the January window or at the end of the season, however, remains to be seen.

READ MORE: Man City willing to swap £100m Jack Grealish for world-class Chelsea, Man Utd target in January

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